BALTIMORE -- The Orioles, amid a rebuild, have spent their time studying organizations that have built sustainability, used advanced analytics and grown a contender from within. It's to little surprise, then, that the O's landed on Astros assistant general manager Mike Elias as their choice to head the front office
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles, amid a rebuild, have spent their time studying organizations that have built sustainability, used advanced analytics and grown a contender from within. It's to little surprise, then, that the O's landed on Astros assistant general manager Mike Elias as their choice to head the front office as executive vice president and general manager.
The news was announced by the Orioles on Friday. The move provides the top block in a long list of to-do's for Baltimore this offseason. Elias, a Northern Virginia native, will now be allowed to name a second in command and help reshape the Orioles.
Sig Mejdal, a former NASA engineer who recently left the Astros organization after six years as a top analytics guru, could be joining Elias with the Orioles, a source told MLB.com. Houston, World Series champions in 2017, has been lauded for having one of the sharpest front offices in baseball and the O's are in dire need of bridging the gap in the American League East after finishing last with a 47-115 record.
Elias, a 35-year-old Yale graduate, is highly regarded in the baseball industry. He was named the Astros' director of amateur scouting when Jeff Luhnow became GM in December 2011, a role that expanded to overseeing player development and Minor League operations in '16.
A former pitcher who got his start as a scout in the Cardinals organization, Elias is heavily credited for Houston's No. 1 overall selection of Carlos Correa in the 2012 Draft, and he oversaw the subsequent six Drafts. The Orioles will have the No. 1 overall pick in next year's Draft.
The organization parted ways with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter in early October. Part of the new plan involves a heavy emphasis on scouting and analytics, as well as a foray into the international market, though Baltimore missed out on the top trio of international players during the current signing period.
Elias was among a group of candidates that included front-office minds Ben Cherington, Ned Colletti and Ned Rice, along with Major League Baseball officials Peter Woodfork and Tyrone Brooks. The nature of how seriously each candidate was considered was not immediately known. The interviews were conducted by Lou and John Angelos, sons of chairman Peter Angelos.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.